The Monthly Trend Report from 3D Hubs is something I always look forward to for several reasons. One, this is a competitive marketplace and it’s just plain exciting to see who might be getting toppled out of the top five for any given category during any given month—and often with no given explanation. The report is never dull, and someone new always seems to be entering the running. Second, it offers world perspective, which is important all around in life, but in 3D printing it allows us to see that in a different area of the world, users might be equally thrilled with a different machine, prompting us to explore further. Last, I’m fascinated each month to see how many new hubs are added to the network on a monthly basis. 3D Hubs shows no signs of slowing down, and the 3D Printing Trends Report for April 2016 is no exception, as they’ve increased by a hefty 1,000 printers since last month—jumping up to 28,500 3D printers hard at work in over 150 countries.
This month, there are several highlights to tell you about, but first 3D Hubs is taking time to gain insight regarding 3D Modeling Softwares and their trends over the past year. While this offers insight, it’s certainly not surprising. We see Solidworks at the top, and that one would have been easy to guess, of course.
It’s also not shocking to learn that the professional CAD suite from Dassault Systèmes has also increased market share by 0.9 percentage points, allowing it to climb to 18.6% in one year. SketchUp fell back ever so slightly, but has remained in second. Next comes Fusion 360, paving the way for a list of Autodesk products after allowing CATIA at #4 and Blender at #5.
If you’ve been paying attention month after month then you probably have the same thought I did: “Sounds about right.” The only surprise to many might be to see AutoCAD relegated to #6.
And if you’re sensing a slight disturbance in the atmosphere, it might be that shakeup in the Highest Rated Desktop Printers category.
“Two new entrants are rocking our highest rated desktop 3D printers list this month. The gold goes to BCN3D SIGMA, a high-end FDM printer from Barcelona Spain, which sports features like an independent dual extrusion system for multimaterial and multicolor prints,” the 3D Hubs team informs us. “The Form 2 takes the silver, as well as the crown for the highest rated SLA printer. After the Form 1+ success we expected it to launch around the top, now it looks like it has managed to upend the print quality of its predecessor.”
The PowerSpec 3D Pro regressed to #3, followed closely by CEL Robox and the Zortrax M200. Also of note: there are three new printers entering the top 20 this month:
- ORD Bot Hadron at #12
- LulzBot Mini at #14
- Mendelmax 3 at #17th
And we’re seeing a shift, finally, in the Highest Rated Industrial Printers category, with 3D Systems beginning a takeover. The 460Plus and the 3500 HDMax are in the lead. Stratasys is still in the top four however, with the Objet30 Prime at third and the Objet Eden260 taking #4. Again, we see 3D Systems placing, with the full-color Projet 660 at #5.
The Trending Printers category always has an air of excitement about it, and this month certainly does not disappoint with a new lineup at the top featuring the Ultimaker 2, offering up a more-than-solid month over month growth of 118.2%. Taking silver is the da Vinci 1.0 PRO, and then the Prusa i3x3 Custom grabbing bronze. The 3D Hubs team points out that although the Form 2 fell back into the fourth spot, they still grew by an impressive 32.5%. The Discovery 200 nabs #5.
The Top Print Cities category still sees New York at the top, and continuing to gain, with a total of 471 hubs currently. Los Angeles, London, Milan, and Paris still trail behind with fairly balanced spacing.
“The fastest growing city is Amsterdam again, which even managed to increase its growth rate to 7.7%,” states 3D Hubs.
And as always, be sure to check out the 3D Hubs World Events calendar to find something exciting happening near you, whether you are at home, traveling on business, or vacationing.
For Printer Model Distribution, you’ll see that the Prusa i3 is still at the top with a total of 2244 printers. After that we see the Ultimaker 2, followed by the Replicator 2, 2X, and then the Zortrax M200. In the Printer Manufacturer Category, Ultimaker is outrunning MakerBot now by 100 printers, and we see that Flashforge may soon overtake Stratasys for #4.
Popular Printers by Region is always eye-opening. While a different printer may be in first place here and there, it never fails that you will see one that is still consistently at the top like the Prusa i3, showing up in second place everywhere except for South America, where it comes in first. It also may soon knock the Ultimaker 2 out of the way in Asia. The Zortrax M200 is also rising as a contender in Europe, edging out the Ultimaker Original Plus at #3.
In the Average Order Value Per Material category, we saw a few small changes as usual:
- ABS and PLA both saw a slight upswing.
- Resin orders increased to $51.4.
- Nylon orders decreased to $51.4, seeing a reduction of $2.7.
- PolyJet orders have increased slightly to $92, with full-color sandstone decreasing to $96.
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